Compatibility and Conflict: Negotiation of Relationships by Dizygotic Same-Sex Twin Girls

Danby, Susan J. & Thorpe, Karen J. (2006) Compatibility and Conflict: Negotiation of Relationships by Dizygotic Same-Sex Twin Girls. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9(1), pp. 103-112.


This article conceptualizes the child as having active agency in the constructions of their social worlds, and reports on a study that understands the twin expe- riences from the perspectives of the twins. It examines how twins account for their relationships with their co-twins. The study drew on accounts of 60 twin children — 10 monozygotic (MZ), 10 dizygotic (DZ) same-sex, 10 DZ opposite-sex pairs — aged 5 to 10 years and their parent (n = 30). The children engaged in a sticker activity in which they represented their friendships, including their friendship with their co-twin. Using the task as a resource, the children were asked about their friends, the attributes of friend- ship and examples of everyday friendships encounters. These were audio-recorded and tran- scribed. Further, parents completed a questionnaire that provided demographic information and asked parents about the children’s social experiences includ- ing twin children’s time spent together, shared interests and their co-twin relationship. Using data from the pictorial representation from the sticker task and parent questionnaires, differences in relationship between MZ, DZ same-sex and DZ opposite-sex twins were examined and used to select a smaller sample for detailed study. DZ same-sex twins tended to view their co-twin less favorably and there was a nonsignifi- cant trend in which conflict was elevated, compared to the other two groups. Based on these findings, the transcripts selected for analysis focuses on the DZ same-sex girls. The girls reported that they had differ- ences of thought, activity and self-presentation. Conflict, competition and challenge as types of social interaction were described, suggesting that the every- day relationship of the twin with her co-twin is always being negotiated and realigned. Evident here is the complexity of social interactions in which the twins engaged everyday with each other.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 7855
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: twin, friendship, conflict, same, sex twins, twinship, sibling relationship, twin identity, childhood, social relationships, dizygotic twins, fraternal twins
ISSN: 1832-4274
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australian Academic Press
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 23 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:19

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